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12 Modern Philosophers

ISBN: 978-1-4443-0569-2
264 pages
March 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
12 Modern Philosophers (1444305697) cover image
Featuring essays from leading philosophical scholars, 12 Modern Philosophers explores the works, origins, and influences of twelve of the most important late 20th Century philosophers working in the analytic tradition.

  • Draws on essays from well-known scholars, including Thomas Baldwin, Catherine Wilson, Adrian Moore and Lori Gruen
  • Locates the authors and their oeuvre within the context of the discipline as a whole
  • Considers how contemporary philosophy both draws from, and contributes to, the broader intellectual and cultural milieu
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Notes on Contributors.

Introduction (Christopher Belshaw, Open University and Gary Kemp, University of Glasgow).

1. Quine (A. W. Moore, University of Oxford).

2. Rawls (Thomas Baldwin, University of York).

3. Davidson (Ernie Lepore, Rutgers University and Kirk Ludwig, University of Florida).

4. Williams (Catherine Wilson, City University of New York).

5. Rorty (Alan Malachowski, University of East Anglia).

6. Fodor (José Luis Bermúdez, Washington University, St Louis).

7. Nagel (Sonia Sedivy, University of Toronto).

8. Kripke (Alexander Bird, University of Bristol).

9. Nozick (A. R. Lacey).

10. Parfit (Jacob Ross, University of Southern California).

11. McDowell (Marie McGinn, University of York).

12. Singer (Lori Gruen, Wesleyan University).


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Christopher Belshaw is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Staff Tutor with the Open University. He works mainly at the theoretical end of applied ethics. He is the author of Ideas (1998), Environmental Philosophy (2001), and 10 Good Questions About Life and Death (Blackwell, 2005). Another book, Annihilation: The Sense and Significance of Death, is forthcoming (2009).

  Gary Kemp is Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at the University of Glasgow. He works in the philosophy of logic and language, on Frege, Russell, Quine, and Davidson, and on aesthetics and philosophical themes in literature. He is the author of Quine: A Guide for the Perplexed (2005) and, with Tracy Bowell, of Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide (3rd edn. 2009).

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  • Brings together a collection of profiles on current and recent philosophers working in the analytic tradition
  • Philosophers covred include Quine, Davidson, Rorty, Kripke, Nozick, Rawls, Williams, Nagel, Parfit, Singer, Fodor, Searle, McDowell, Putnam and Dummett
  • The team of international contributors are themselves established and well-known philosophers
  • Goes beyond many introductions to analytic philosophy by exploring a broad range of figures and a spectrum of their work, rtaher than focusing on a single text
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"The 12 essays by 12 different authors are clear and concise; they offer both summaries and critiques that give valuable guidance to those who are new to the writings of these thinkers." (CHOICE, 2009)

  “It is recommended not only to readers not yet familiar with philosophical discourse and concerns, but also to 'insiders' who wish to get a clearer view of the various debates and discussions that are taking place in philosophy today.” (Metapsychology, August 2009)

"This book was a superb idea and has been superbly done." –Brad Hooker, University of Reading

“This engaging collection shows philosophy for what it is at its best: enlivening, stimulating, exacting, and – true to the promise of its Socratic origins – ever capable of provocatively unsettling the otherwise unexamined presumptions that would blind us to life’s absorbing complexities. Informative, illuminating reading.” –Garry L. Hagberg, University of East Anglia

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